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The 4 Most Effective Exercises To Shrink Your Waistline After 60

This simple workout program will flatten your midsection and strengthen your entire body.
FACT CHECKED BY Alexa Mellardo

If you feel like your midsection is a bit bigger than it once was, take a moment to be kind to yourself. Gaining weight after 60 is totally normal! Muscle mass tends to decrease around this age, which causes the body's metabolic rate to slow down, research shows. In other words, you're burning fewer calories day-to-day than you did when you were younger. But don't fret, because we've put together the most effective movements that will shrink your waistline after 60, which we'll get into below.

Since genetics play a big role in where we store fat, it's important to note that it's difficult to spot train the stomach specifically. (Bummer—we know!) But you can take steps to combat overall fat accumulation through a full-body training program and some lifestyle changes, says Christine Torde, CPT of Body Space Fitness in Manhattan. "Small things like eating adequate amounts of protein can help combat muscle loss, which, in turn, can help you stay leaner," Torde says. (Aim for 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight.) "Reducing stress and getting enough sleep can also help by combating levels of cortisol, a hormone linked to the consumption of excess calories," she adds.

Exercise and daily movement can help move the needle as well, Torde tells us. "It's so important to find an action plan that works best for your body, your goals, and way of life," says Torde. "But if you can swing it, I recommend getting at least 8,000 steps per day and doing two to three full-body strength training sessions a week." Below, Torde shares a four-move circuit that hits all the major muscle groups. "Not only is this program functional to keep you strong as you move through your day, but it also works the entire body so you can gain muscle which can help contribute to overall fat reduction. With patience, you will see results!"

Trainer tip: Before hitting the weights, spend some time warming up. Use a foam roller to hit your back, shoulders, glutes, hamstrings, and IT bands, and then do a few rounds of suitcase carries to prime your muscles and nervous system for the main part of the workout.

Get ready to tone up and shrink your waistline with the exercises demonstrated below. And next up, check out The 6 Best Exercises for Strong and Toned Arms in 2022, Trainer Says.

Kettlebell Deadlift

mature man demonstrating kettlebell deadlift to shrink your waistline

Rep scheme: 3 sets of 12 reps

How to do it: To do a kettlebell deadlift, choose a heavy kettlebell that's relatively challenging to lift but doesn't cause any strain. Place the kettlebell on the ground, and stand directly above the bell with your feet a few inches wider than shoulder-width apart. Tighten your core, and hinge at the hips, pushing your butt backward like you're about to sit down. As your hands reach the kettlebell handle, engage your lats and core, inhale, and push into the floor with your feet to stand up, bringing the kettlebell with you. As you stand up, exhale and keep your muscles engaged. When you've stood up straight, squeeze your glutes. That's one rep. Need to see how it's done? Watch this video demo.

Related: Speed Up Belly Fat Loss In Your 50s With These Exercises, Trainer Says

Single-Arm Overhead Press

mature man demonstrating single overhead dumbbell press to shrink your waistline

Rep scheme: 3 sets of 16 reps (8 reps per arm)

How to do it: The next exercise that can help shrink your waistline and achieve overall fat reduction is the single-arm overhead press. Choose a set of dumbbells that's challenging but also allows you to press the weight overhead without any strain. Hold a dumbbell in each hand with your palms facing in toward your torso. Curl your arms, so the dumbbells are sitting right above your shoulders. You're now ready to begin the exercise. Slowly straighten your left arm above you so your bicep is by your ear and the weight is overhead. Brace your core, and slowly lower the dumbbell back to the starting position to complete one rep. Repeat on the right side. Need to see how it's done? Watch this video demo.

Seated Two Arm Cable Row

woman demonstrating closeup two-arm seated cable row to shrink your waistline

Rep scheme: 3 sets of 12 reps

How to do it: Attach a V-bar (or two row handles of the same size) to the cable machine and adjust the height so that the tops of the handles are level with the center of your chest. Choose a weight that feels challenging but does not cause strain. Then, sit on the bench with your knees slightly bent. Reach out, and pick up the handle attachment with both hands. Hinge slightly backward so your core engages. As you brace your ab muscles, move your shoulders back and down, then pull the handles back toward your stomach, bending your elbows so they "kiss" your waistline. Pause for a second, and then slowly extend your arms, returning them to the starting position. That's one rep. Need to see how it's done? Watch this video demo.

Related: The Most Productive Floor Exercises To Get Rid Of A Flabby Stomach, Trainer Says

Squat to Alternating Reverse Lunge

mature woman doing squat, demonstrating how to shrink your waistline

Rep scheme: 3 sets of 12 reps

How to do it: Stand with your feet parallel, hip-width distance apart. Bend your knees, and sit back into a squat, keeping your chest up. Stand back up, squeezing your glutes at the top of the movement. From there, step your right foot backward, lowering down into a reverse lunge. Your right knee should be underneath the right hip, at approximately a 90-degree angle. Pause, then step forward, driving your hips back to a standing position. Repeat with the left leg. This counts as one rep. To make it more challenging, hold a dumbbell in each hand. Need to see how it's done? Watch this video demo.

With these exercises on deck, you'll combat fat accumulation and shrink your waistline. Add them to your fitness plan ASAP.

Dana Leigh Smith
Dana has written for Women's Health, Prevention, Reader's Digest, and countless other publications. Read more about Dana Leigh
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